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May 31, 2013

Summer Snacking Smarts

The Hood Answer Mom, Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D.

Summer's nearly here, and you may be thinking about slimming down for bathing suit weather, or how to maintain your weight during this busy party season. The good news is that you don't have to give up your favorite snacks to get a beach-ready body. Here's why.

Less is Just as Satisfying
A recent study from Cornell University suggests smaller snacks are just as satisfying as larger ones.

The researchers found that people who ate considerably smaller snack portions rated their satisfaction as similar to those who ate about 77% more food. The group who ate more food consumed an additional 100 calories than those who ate the smaller servings.
The results showed that smaller portion sizes are capable of providing similar feelings of satisfaction as bigger ones.

Smaller servings can squash hunger and help you better control food intake.
When you serve yourself larger portions, you tend to eat what's on your plate, in your bowl, or in your cup. Cutting 100 to 200 calories a day may result in a 10- to 20-pound weight loss in a year's time.  When you add 200 calories of physical activity, your weight loss could be as much as 40 pounds in a year or about 3.5 pounds in a month's time.

Snack Smarter and Smaller

Between trips to the beach, vacation, and backyard barbeques, it's easy to overdo it on summer snacks. 

No matter where you are this summer, keep healthy lower-calories snacks on hand to help you eat right. These simple snack tips offer good nutrition for limited calories:

• Always start your day off with a balanced breakfast that includes protein, such as eggs, yogurt, and Hood Milk.

• Eat at regular intervals during the day to discourage grazing, that near-continuous nibbling or drinking that can add hundreds of calories to your intake, but provides little satisfaction.

• Rely on portion-controlled Hood frozen treats, such as an Ice Cream Bar, a Hoodsie, or an Orange Cream bar, or ½ cup Hood Greek Frozen Yogurt for 5 grams of satisfying protein and between 110-130 calories.

• Layer low-fat Greek vanilla yogurt or Hood Greek Frozen Yogurt with fresh fruit

• Pair frozen fruit, such as chunks of watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew with low-fat fruit yogurt or Greek yogurt for dipping

• Prepare smoothies made with milk, fresh fruit, and crushed ice

• Spread a mini whole wheat bagel with 1 tablespoon peanut, almond, cashew or sunflower seed butter

• Sliced red and green bell peppers or baby carrots, and enjoy with hummus for dipping

• Have water handy to prevent drinking your calories as soda, lemonade, and fruit drinks.

• Concoct a refreshing spritzer with 4 ounces of 100% fruit juice and club soda.

Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward

Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D., is a writer, nutrition consultant, and mother of three. She is the author of several books, including MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better and Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, & After Pregnancy . Ward is also a contributing writer for Muscle & Fitness Hers and Men's Fitness magazines.

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